Max Bielfeldt has been given his release to transfer from Michigan, according to Jeff Goodman of ESPN. Bielfeldt will be a graduate transfer, which means that he won't need to sit out and will be eligible to play next season.
It was no secret that Bielfeldt was a candidate to transfer. Michigan classified Bielfeldt as a senior rather than a redshirt junior last season, and John Beilein mentioned at multiple press conferences that the plan was for Bielfeldt to be a graduate transfer. However, there still was a possibility that Michigan would retain Bielfeldt for his fifth season if a scholarship was available, but, with the news today that Caris LeVert will return for his senior season, Michigan has filled all 13 of its scholarships -- though Beilein still is recruiting -- and has no room for Bielfeldt next season. This release makes it official.
Bielfeldt was a surprise contributor for Michigan this past season after averaging only about five minutes per game in the previous two. He posted 5.1 points and 3.6 rebounds in 14.5 minutes per game and was Michigan's starting center for the final three games. He recorded his only career double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds) in his first career start on Senior Day in a 79-69 win against Rutgers in front of an appreciative Crisler Center.
It was reported three weeks ago by the Peoria Star Journal that Bielfeldt was considering a transfer to Bradley, which is located in Peoria, Illinois and is Bielfeldt's hometown. "I have spoken to (Bradley) [c]oach (Brian) Wardle and there is an interest to potentially come," Bielfeldt said. "I'm currently just weighing my other options."
Bielfeldt didn't list specific suitors to MLive's Brendan Quinn but did say this:
Bielfeldt didn't list any specific suitors he's currently talking to, but said he's hearing from a few schools in the Missouri Valley Conference, one from the Big 12, one from the from the Big East and "one out west."
"I have about six or seven schools right now that I'm talking to that I'm interested in, but it's definitely still early and I'm definitely still open to new schools coming and contacting me," Bielfeldt said.
We at Maize n Brew want to thank Bielfeldt for his three years of service at Michigan. If we include the year that he redshirted in 2012, Bielfeldt leaves Ann Arbor as a two-time Big Ten champion, national runner-up, and two-time Elite Eight participant. We wish him the best of luck next season, and hope that his last season brings him much success.